R.J. Hernandez



R.J. Hernandez is a musician, chef, and entrepreneur who has been entertaining audiences and educating young people about his culture for more than three decades. R.J. plays a variety of instruments. He is the leader and a founding member of the musical ensemble Las Guitarras de Mexico and was inducted into the 2023 Iowa Latino Hall of Fame.

As a child, R.J. watched his mother prepare numerous Mexican dishes using just her intuition and experience to measure a pinch of this and a scoop of that. Understanding his mother wouldn’t always be around to guide his cooking lessons, R.J. began tirelessly recording measurements, temperatures, and techniques she used and turned them into recipes, which would later contribute to the success of Raul’s Mexican Food, the chain of restaurants R.J. would open, own, and operate in Des Moines. R.J.’s workshops for CultureALL reflect his deep love and respect for both the music and food of his Mexican heritage.